Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Book Review: 'Mindfulness for Beginners in Plain English' by Charnita Arora

Author Charnita Arora is the founder of Perfect Life Spot (PLS). She mentors (offline and online) sessions on mindfulness, inner-peace, emotional well-being, self-discovery, self-expression and self-actualization. Her gentle caring is evident in the message to those who would open her book: `In a world where immediacy, over-stimulation and distraction have become the norm, this pocket-booklet simply hopes to bring you back to your breath. It aims to politely disrupt the norm and bring you buckets-full of nourishing breaths for more inner-space, equanimity and joy. We have never been more connected, and yet we have never been more alone. Why is it so? This booklet that you are reading aims to encourage you, to restore that essential connection within yourself. It engages in awareness-training in a very simple and practical way. These insights on mind-management shall initiate you into more inner-peace, equanimity and happiness.'

In her introductory comments Charnita offers the opposite of mindfulness - that being mindlessness: `When our mind is full of past ruminations or future anticipation, then our mind is pre-occupied. This state of absence or unawareness can be referred to as Mindlessness. If our mind is already booked, then we are on a 'budget-mind' space. On a 'budget-mind' space, we are unable to interact with our context with the mental alertness, openness, humor and clarity that would contribute to our happiness. It also means that since we are pre-occupied, we do not have sufficient space for the present moment and its possibilities. In such a mind-space our perception of reality is very limited. These perceptions are only crude estimates of reality. When we identify with them, our reality becomes limited. This causes us suffering. To elaborate, in a state of mindlessness, we are more likely to either overlook or misunderstand, (ours and others') needs and feelings. Overlooked or misunderstood needs and feelings are the major cause of chaos, conflict and pain. - Mindlessness leads to Suffering: Mindfulness leads to Well-being.'

Though to take full advantage of Charnita's thoughts it is best to read (and re-read) her book in the silence of your own space. There are lists and issues that are of paramount importance, such as her Anchors of Mindfulness: `Stream of Consciousness' or Free-writing, Spending time with nature, Being with inspiring people, Body-awareness, Digital-Mindfulness, Mindfulness Rituals/Sign-posts, Concerts of Silence, and Earthing.' Just a brief sample of the content but hopefully enough for everyone to obtain this beautiful book. Grady Harp, July 15

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.